Letter to China

This writing exercise was pretty straight forward: write a letter to someone who’s never been to your home – from either another country or even another world! My son picked China. I love the details he included in what he wrote 🙂

Sequoia Scavenger Hunt

Recently we visited Big Trees Park in Arnold, home to the Sequoias, the biggest trees in the world. I knew I wanted to do some nature observation for our school work, but I wanted it to be lively and fun. What better way to take in all the sights with small boys than a scavenger hunt?

Off we set to hike the park with Granny, looking for the items on the the list. Because of the cooler temperature and rains there were no butterflies to be found – the only item we couldn’t check off the list. But we did spot quite a few squirrels and birds not on the list. What fun, and what a joy to know that while we learn, we are also making beautiful memories with our children.

Making a Compass

One of the joys of homeschooling has been the discovery that my son loves geography. I have been trying to incorporate as much as I can, in order to give him a broad foundation for understanding how to read maps. Classical Conversations recommended the Legends & Leagues Geography Curriculum for 1st grade. I bought Mr Tardy Goes From Here To There, and the Legends & Leagues Workbook, which have been a great supplement to our other geography curriculum.

One of the activities we did recently was to make our own compass. I had no idea how easy it would be! All we needed was a sewing needle, a magnet, a bowl of water and a small piece of paper. With just a few simple items, we were able to determine North, South, East and West. Now the concept of the magnetism of the poles is something my son has a better grasp of, because he has seen it in action, firsthand. And we got the added bonus of being able to experience the wonder of science together in the process!

(Free Compass Tutorial)

Homespun Homeschool Week #5

Week 5 of homeschool: we did fingerprint art, wrote a character-story about a shy opera singer, saw cuttlefish, penguins and much more at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, tested rates at which various liquids freeze, learned about France then went to a French patisserie, made abstract puddle art, spotted otters, starfish and hermit crabs in the wild, made historical pop-up pages and saw California Historical Landmark # 1!

Homespun Homeschool Week #4

Week 4 of homeschool: we wrote our own Code of Justinian, did a scavenger hunt in the Sequoias, read The Wind in the Willows, reimagined a Joan Miro painting (with an impromptu art lesson from Grampy) learned about clefs, sharps and flats, transposed Antonio Dvorak’s Symphony #9 to solfege (Field did it completely by himself), and made a clay cheetah!